To most, 14 February seemed like the usual. Love in the air, warm candle light dinners, cupids, and sweet moments. But for those who visited Majestic City and Crescat Mall to buy their gifts or those who stepped in to Park Street for a romantic dinner, learned about what happens to the rest of the women around Sri Lanka.
What they saw were glass display cases that from afar looked like showcase for Valentine’s gifts but in fact, they actually displayed a very different genre of ‘gifts’ ; gifts of violence that several perpetrators gift their women every single day.
The exhibits showcased steely knives, hammers and nails, barbed wires meshed as necklaces, bottles of acid and other household items which end up being used as weapons by men. Further, the message accompanying these displays was ever more shocking: Every Valentine’s Day, around 3 out of 5 women in Sri Lanka receive violent gifts like these. The message went on to ask the public to share their concern, find out more and take action by following ‘HIS GIFT OF LOVE’ on FaceBook – a page specially developed as a means of educating and informing people on issue of Gender-based violence in the country and urging awareness and a social discussion on the issue.
The campaign was designed as an absolute shocker and the intention was simple: send a chill down the spine of the usually-apathetic Sri Lankans that an estimated 60% of women in Sri Lanka have experienced violence in their lives.
A powerful message presented in an innovative, impactful way to jolt society with harsh reality and encourage empathy. We hope that campaigns like these contribute towards putting an end to Domestic Violence.